The Minnesota Twins have been in need of depth behind the plate since Jason Castro went down for the year with a torn meniscus. They addressed that need on Monday, as they reportedly signed former Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp to a minor-league deal, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP Sports.
The current depth chart at Rochester behind the plate features Willians Astudillo and Wynston Sawyer, with Jordan Pacheco also in the mix but on the seven-day disabled list. Pacheco has not played yet this season.
Rupp was squeezed out of the mix behind the plate at the end of spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies due to the presence of Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp, with the team only responsible for one-quarter of his $2.05 million salary as a result.
Rupp is under club control through the 2020 season, as this was his first time being eligible for arbitration.
Rupp is a career .234/.298/.407 hitter, with his best season coming as a 27-year-old in 2016 when he hit .252/.303/.447 with 16 homers and 26 doubles. Rupp has been almost exactly league average in terms of throwing out baserunners over the past two years, though he was markedly above average (38 percent versus a league mark of 28 percent) in his first season of extensive action back in 2015.
Most of Rupp’s damage in his big-league career has been done against left-handed pitching, as he’s hit .285/.368/.511 against southpaws but just .218/.276/.376 against righties.
After Rupp was released by the Phillies, he landed with Triple-A Round Rock (Rangers), where he exercised his opt-out clause on June 1 after hitting a stellar .274/.346/.540 with seven homers in just 32 games.
Rupp turns 30 in late September, and was ranked the No. 16 prospect in the Phillies system after the 2013 season by Baseball America. They called him a “durable Texan with huge hands and great makeup” and the catcher received rave reviews for his “plus, accurate arm.”
Framing-wise, Rupp was one of the worst catchers last year according to StatCorner metrics, as he was worth minus-20.4 runs behind the plate. In 2016, he was far more neutral (minus-1.2) and in 2015 he was minus-0.7.